Teaching to Learn and Learning to Teach

Sorry to See them Go, Glad to See them Come

I lost a coworker and his family, who are dear friends. They moved some 2,086 miles away. Gunner is a dedicated, hard worker. He is detailed and thinks through things carefully and with wisdom. Who knew one so young could be so wise? He was faithful to the end. While some would want to pack up  and leave the mess behind, he wanted to implement new systems that he had not had time to implement for his benefit in order to help his successor. He literally worked night and day to do so in the weeks leading up to his departure. Gunner finished well.

His wife Cindi always brought joy into the office with her on her visits. She always had a hug and a smile to give and would sit down on my stool and chat (it was usually at the perfect time – the end of a long day. I always ended up leaving time with her encouraged instead of weary.) You might think that with Gunner being so young and so wise that this couple would be austere or aloof, but you would be wrong. They are friendly and refreshingly real. Their sense of reality and truth, their wisdom along with their graciousness, makes them counselors to many. And to top it all off, they are amazing parents. I  have never heard them yell at Judah, but when they speak he knows he is expected to listen and obeys. While I’m sure he is not perfect in this, I have noticed that unlike some children who don’t hear you unless you yell, he hears even a quiet command.

Judah is Judah. He has a great smile. He almost always comes through a window in King Hall into his dad’s office. He very rarely uses a door on the way in. He loves his parents. He is SO excited to see his dad at work. Gunner’s office was always the first stop; my candy jar the second :). I don’t know who will eat the dumdums on my desk any more. He is his parents’ child, not because of the candy, but because of his word choice and thought processes. At four years old he is differentiating between the term lollypop and sucker. He also used reason to discern my age. When his mom asked him how old he thought I was, I thought he would say 88 or 13, instead he replied, “Well, Mama, you are 29, so you (referring to me) must be 27.” He was only a month off :).

I am so sad to see them go, but I am eager to see how the Lord uses them in Kentucky and am excited to see Gunner’s brain back at work in the academic arena. I sometimes wonder if I can remain in jobs with turnover with people. As an RA, I graduated and had to leave everyone; in IBEX all the students left every semester; as a teacher students moved on; and now students and staff leave the college… and then the next group of people comes and the group of believers who you love expands and the group of people you should go visit expands too.

While they will be dearly missed, I am excited to see Dave and Tricia come.

Dave will be filling Gunner’s spot. I’ve worked with Dave and Tricia before, and look forward to getting to know them better in this role. Dave was always an RD who knew how things should function administratively. He was faithful to communicate when things weren’t working, so I could fix them, instead of me finding out months later. I’ve missed Dave’s insightful comments in our staff meetings. The way he views things and clearly communicates them in discussions is very profitable for me. All of the rejoicing when students who lived in his dorm heard they would return was a testimony of his shepherd’s heart. Theater students responded in kind to Tricia’s return. They both love the college and bring a lot to the ministry.

I can’t wait to see how God will work in Kentucky and in California in the next few years.


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